The Portland area receives only about 12 percent of its rainfall June through September, and Oregonians work hard to keep lawns and gardens green in dry weather.

This summer, the Regional Water Providers Consortium (RWPC) — a group of 20-plus local water providers and Metro — is reminding you that waterwise gardening practices can create beautiful landscapes that are multi-colored, vibrant and bountiful, even during the hottest summer days.

Because many people unknowingly water too much and too often, RWPC is offering free outdoor watering gauge kits through July 31 to anyone who lives in the RWPC service territory (while supplies last; one per customer).

The watering gauge takes the guesswork out of watering by measuring how much water is landing on your lawn. RWPC also posts a “weekly watering number” on its website (, which provides the recommended amount of water to keep lawns healthy and green through summer.

Request your free watering gauge kit by calling 503-823-7528, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visiting RWPC’s Facebook page at Include your mailing address, water provider name and how you heard about the offer.

Using water efficiently makes sound economic and environmental sense, and helps our region meet its long-term water supply needs. In addition to using a watering gauge and the weekly watering number, here are five helpful tips to keep your lawn and garden waterwise this summer:

1. Adjust your sprinklers to water your lawn and garden, not the street or sidewalk.

2. Water early in the morning (before 10 a.m.) or later in the evening (after 6 p.m.) when temperatures are cooler and evaporation is minimized.

3. Water in several short sessions rather than one long session to allow for better absorption and to prevent run-off.

4. Inspect your overall sprinkler system for leaks, broken lines or blockage in the lines. A well-maintained system will save you money, water and time, as even small leaks can waste hundreds of gallons of water each month.

5. Group plants with similar watering needs. Creating “watering zones” in your garden will allow you to give each plant the water it requires — not too much or too little.

For more tips to help you save water and money this summer, visit

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